New top diplomats in China signal focus on US, Japan, N.Korea
BEIJING (REUTERS) - China is signalling that it is keen to get on top of troubled ties with the United States, Japan and North Korea with the likely appointment of two officials with deep experience of these countries to its top diplomatic posts.
Current Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, ambassador to Washington from 2001-2005 and a polished English speaker, is tipped to be promoted to state councillor with responsibility for foreign policy, three independent sources said.
China has only five such councillors and the post is senior to that of foreign minister.
Yang, 62, will likely be replaced as foreign minister by Wang Yi, China's ambassador to Japan from 2004 to 2007 and a one-time pointman on North Korea. Both will be appointed during March's annual full session of parliament, the sources said.